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Doctoral thesis, 2022

Impacts of clear-cutting on soil fungal communities and their activities in boreal forests - A metatranscriptomic approach

Hasby, Fahri

Abstract

Large-scale forestry has reduced and fragmented the area of primary forest and greatly impacted communities of organisms, above and below ground. Fungal com-munities, which are pivotal in boreal forest soil functions, are vulnerable to tree har-vesting. Changes in their community composition may be followed by loss of key functions and ultimately affect carbon and nutrient cycling. By using various molec-ular approaches, such as metabarcoding, transcriptomics and metatranscriptomics, this thesis aims to investigate how clear-cut forestry affects the composition and traits of soil fungal communities.

In a shorter time perspective, clear-cutting eliminate ectomycorrhizal fungi but stimulates growth of saprotrophic fungi. Clear-cutting also enhanced cellulose and lignin decomposition, which may reduce soil carbon stocks in the short-term and potentially cause eutrophication in the mid-term. After 35 years, the ectomycorrhizal fungal community composition in re-established secondary forest was still not re-stored to the same composition as in forest with longer continuity, although its bio-mass had recovered. Particularly Cortinarius, a genus with a key functional role in lignin decomposition, was largely missing in secondary forest. Ectomycorrhizal Cortinarius species accounted for a large fraction of gene transcription of ligninolytic peroxidases in forests with long continuity, and loss of this function could impair long-term nitrogen cycling and soil fertility.

Overall, this thesis presents evidence that clear-cutting forestry has extensive ef-fects on fungal biodiversity, with major short-term consequences for soil fungi and their facilitation of decomposition and nutrient cycling, but also long-term effects on ectomycorrhizal communities that should be considered in further evaluation of management practices.

Keywords

forestry; soil fungi; metabarcoding; transcriptomics; metatranscriptom-ics; decomposition; carbon-use efficiency; ectomycorrhiza; Cortinarius

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2022, number: 2022:11
ISBN: 978-91-7760-897-4, eISBN: 978-91-7760-898-1
Publisher: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land
    SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Ecology
    Agricultural Science
    Soil Science

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/115772